Japanese leads the way after late charge

 

Nirei Fukuzumi grabbed the top spot late in this afternoon’s GP3 Series free practice session at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, setting his best lap on the last tour to stop the clocks at 1:38.594 and lead home an ART Grand Prix ahead of George Russell, Anthoine Hubert and Jack Aitken.

 

The session opened with the circuit bathed in sunshine despite large, ominous looking clouds overhead, with all the field taking straight to the track to get some laps under their belts. Dorian Boccolacci, Leonardo Pulcini and Fukuzumi set the early pace before Hubert grabbed P1 with a 40.009 as most of the field looked for some race run information.

 

Giuliano Alesi took over the top spot at the 30 minute mark, with teammate Ryan Tveter playing rear gunner in P2 ahead of the ARTs, until it was all change in the final 5 minutes of the session with Hubert, Boccolacci, Fukuzumi, Aitken, Russell and then finally Fukuzumi taking the top spot again as the flag dropped for the end of the session.

 

There were 14 drivers within a second of P1, with Boccolacci, Steijn Schothorst, Pulcini, Arjun Maini, Alessio Lorandi and new driver Dan Ticktum rounding out the top ten. Qualifying promises to be equally tight: the session starts tomorrow morning at 9.45 local time.

 

Provisional Free Practice Classification

 

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 1:38.594 17
2. George Russell ART Grand Prix 1:38.693 18
3. Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix 1:38.776 19
4. Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1:38.786 19
5. Dorian Boccolacci Trident 1:38.933 21
6. Steijn Schothorst Arden International 1:38.963 20
7. Leonardo Pulcini Arden International 1:38.971 19
8. Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.033 21
9. Alessio Lorandi Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.148 17
10. Daniel Ticktum DAMS 1:39.232 20
11. Marcos Siebert Campos Racing 1:39.298 20
12. Juan-Manuel Correa Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.470 20
13. Giuliano Alesi Trident 1:39.518 22
14. Niko Kari Arden International 1:39.565 18
15. Raoul Hyman Campos Racing 1:39.776 20
16. Bruno Baptista DAMS 1:39.860 17
17. Ryan Tveter Trident 1:39.923 22
18. Julien Falchero Campos Racing 1:39.968 19
19. Tatiana Calderon DAMS 1:40.411 18
20. Kevin Jörg Trident 1:41.112 20